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Finding Off-Market Real Estate Deals: Part 6 - Online Driving for Dollars, Finding Vacant Lots, and Using Online Public Tax Records -

Finding Off-Market Real Estate Deals: “Online Driving for Dollars”, Finding Vacant Lots, and Using Online Tax Records

How to find Off-Market Real Estate Deals: Part 6 - Online driving for dollars

If you’re looking at the title of this blog post and thinking, “I have no idea what that means. Is this something like Driver’s Ed?” – don’t worry, I can explain…

You might already be familiar with the phrase “driving for dollars” (which I covered in my previous Finding Foreclosures post). It simply means searching for real estate deals by literally driving around town in your car (or paying someone else to do it).

But – instead of physically driving around in your off-market property search, which can be a big time-suck, you can actually “drive” for dollars online.

Note: this strategy primarily works great for very targeted searches in terms of area and your target property, especially land.  This is a “sniper” method not a “fishing with dynamite” like direct mail can be, for example.

How to Start Driving For Dollars Online

I specifically use this strategy to identify vacant infill lots to buy for my new construction business.

To start your online driving for dollars process, track down the online public tax records in your area.

In my neck of the woods, we have a site called Richmond Parcel Mapper that’s simply a map of properties that links to tax records.

Richmond Parcel Mapper

Most such maps will have an aerial view of the area that you can switch to.

Sites like this have loads of information for each property, especially vacant lots, such as the size of the lot, the zoning and sometimes even the mailing address of the owner.  Check out this video:

If you can find a similar online tax record resource for your market, it’ll help you out BIG TIME in finding off-market real estate. Literally, this is driving for dollars in the comfort of your own home (attention to your appearance is not required – hellooooo PJs).

Once you pull up the tax records for a particular property, copy down the mailing address for the owner, then send them a direct mail piece or look up their phone number or social media profile and reach out to see if they’d be interested in selling their real estate property!

Again, remember – this is not a super scalable model where you can do mass marketing.  It’s a way to really zero in on your target properties and do extensive research on them before approaching the sellers or after you’ve already found a motivated seller and need to formulate your offer.

That’s it – go do some wholesale real estate deals!

Comments, Questions?

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Comments (14 comments so far)

  1. Scott Stamps

    Excellent article Daniil. You are one of the only guys I know actively doing and teaching on these types of infill development deals. I have often thought that these county tax maps would be a good way to access lot owners. Would you mind sharing your hit ratio when you send out these targeted mailers?
    Also, looks like you meant to add a link after the words, “direct mail piece”in the last paragraph. Can you share that as well?

    • Daniil

      Scott: Whenever I target land, my campaigns are small. No more than 40-100 letters. I typically get 5-15 calls and usually close at least 1 deal. There were times when I closed 2 off one campaign and once didn’t close any. So it varies. And good catch on the link – it’s fixed!

  2. Hello Daniil,
    I know that you are not in the IT field but I know that you are concerned with your systems
    I want to tell you that the videos that are included in your programs do not work or play.
    I can navigate through your programs and then get to the videos click on them and they do not work
    I do not mean to waste your time but you need to be aware of this issue

    • JacobC

      Hi Mr. Jones,

      I just checked the video on this page and a few others and they’re working great. Some of the older videos are flash based which won’t work on mobile devices. Just an FYI. If you’re using a mobile device and some of the videos aren’t working I would try and open them on a regular computer. If you still have trouble please email us and let us know. Support@rehabvaluator.com. Please include what kind of device you’re on, what web browser you’re using, what errors you’re getting, and what video you’re trying to view so we can try and replicate the issue. Thanks!

  3. Leslie

    Good info thank you my brother keep up the good work.

    • Daniil

      Glad you like it, Les! And thanks for constantly spreading the word about Rehab Valuator -really appreciate it!

  4. Shawn

    Great info as all way’s, keep up the great work!

    • Daniil

      Thanks, Shawn!

  5. William Turner

    I love Richmond parcel mapper. Just wish Chesterfield had the same system. I was out today driving along the boundary between the two. If I somehow wrote down the wrong address within Richmond or couldn’t find a house number 8n Richmond, I was OK. Just moved the cursor. Chesterfield – out of luck.

    • Daniil

      Yep. It’s seriously a life-saver!

  6. Daniil

    You just need to be educated. Go through the training I link to above in the article. I’ve done very well with vacant lots and so have many people I know.

  7. Yen-Suong Le

    Hi! Daniil,

    I think this software saves you a lot of time. I had experienced driving around even on desert areas of Antelope Valley, California. Under the sunshine at noon, stuck in the sand, it was very difficult to move your car out! What ‘s a life experience!

    To Your Continued Success,

    • Daniil

      See! This is why “online driving for dollars” is better than regular driving 🙂 Can’t get stuck in the sand!